Kia ora te Whānau
June heralds a feast of cultural events – the Jazz Festival, the French Film Festival, the orchestral season and many more. Yesterday afternoon I spent an enjoyable two hours listening to choirs at the Big Sing Regional Contest. It’s always a pleasure to listen to young musicians and we have a great choral tradition in Wellington – the legacy of such talented choir directors as Peter Godfrey, Guy Jansen and Roy Tankersley, to name a few. It’s no accident that these fine choir directors all have their roots in sacred music. Now we have such directors as Mark Stamper (Queen Margaret College and our own Music Director here at St Andrew’s), Penelope Hooson (Wellington East Girls’ College) and Issac Stone (Tawa College). It is wonderful to see the new generation of leaders coming through and to observe how fluently they mix sacred, traditional, classical and modern music – and new compositions – in their repertoire. As some notable progressive theologians have observed, the church doesn’t stand still and neither does the influence of the church and its traditions on society. In an age when organised religion gets a lot of ‘bad press’ we need to acknowledge the ‘good’ that flows from that same source. This theme seems to align well, without knowing exactly what Ellen Murray is going to talk about, with her reflection on Sunday: “Noticing the reign of God among us”.
On a different note (no pun intended), I announced in church a couple of weeks ago that our wonderful Centre Manager, Laetitia Brunell, will leave us in August to head to Melbourne. Time for a change she has told us. Laetitia has been with us for nearly four and half years. She has built on the work of David Medland to make the St Andrew’s Centre a highly successful meeting venue, putting in place systems and processes that will endure for the future. Laetitia is a capable multi-tasker, a necessary skill in this job. She seems able to do ten things at once and hold all of the detail in her head in the process. She has been a tower of strength in the organ restoration project, which has created a lot of extra work for the office, for example we could not have run Sponsor a Pipe without her. We will farewell Laetitia appropriately closer to her departure (20 August). Details to follow in due course. See you Sunday.
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